Art Info / Item Details
Walter Hugo, 2011
Featured in the In Your Face exhibition
Materials: Plaster relief, silver nitrate photographic emulsion
Dimensions: 23.5 x 20 x 9 cm, 9.3 x 7.9 x 3.5 inches
Walter Hugo's most recent work, is inspired by elements of the Victorians' obsessions with anthropometry and specimen taking, along with the recent discoveries regarding the gene that is the work's eponym; PAX6. This gene, which controls the development of our eyes and other sensory organs whilst in the womb, is also thought to potentially dictate the nature of a person, having an impact upon their choices and ultimately their place within the world. Taking reference from both, and utilising the most modern silicon casting techniques alongside early photographic hand painted emulsions, he again combines old and new technologies within his work. PAX6 is a trio of plaster heads that have been cast from the faces of homeless individuals. Hugo has then photographically printed images of each individual on their own face, using his personally evolved technique with Silver Nitrate emulsion, and thus creating a kind of 3D image. Hugo has chosen specific faces that are mostly unobserved in the world, though they are passed daily by many. By creating something which draws the viewer in to relate to each piece, and displacing them into an environment and situation of constant observation, it summons thoughts of why one has not observed such faces before. The beautiful and eerie nature of the work focuses the viewer onto the eyes of each subject, bringing us back to the questions of whether our future is pre-destined through this gene or not.
Each face is an individual work